Presentation on theme: "African Retention The Africans in North American retained many African traits."— Presentation transcript:
African Retention The Africans in North American retained many African traits
The Debate African or Not Retention or Assimilation
The Question n Why was not the experiences of the Africans the same everywhere?
Two answers – n n 1. African retentions in the US were negligible because the African was totally stripped of his culture by the process of enslavement. n E. Franklin Frazier advocated this position. http://www.howard.edu/library/Social_Work_Library/images/frazerport.jpg
n n 2. The slave system did not destroy the slaves’ African culture and a considerable number of Africanisms continue to define Afro- American culture in the US. n Melville J. Herskovits advocated this position. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/freetodance/behind/images/herskovitz.gif
The idea n The myth that Herskovitz wanted to dismiss was the idea that the African had no past other than “primative savagery” which was demolished once the African came in contact with Europeans.
What do you think? n The truth lay somewhere in the middle?
Retentions n Worship –Spirit Possession n Music –Spirituals n Supernatural Beliefs –Hags, Haunts and Plat Eyes n Conjuration
Worship n Worship –Spirit Possession - “getting happy” “shouting” “getting the spirit” –Filled with music - like many things African –Sermon - high point, rhythmically delivered –Call and response - signifies the relationship between the speaker and the congregation
Music n Spirituals n Work songs n Stories n Weddings n Funerals
Supernatural Beliefs n Plat Eyes –evil spirits that changed shapes to lure their victims into dangers and make them go crazy n Hags –disembodied spirits of witches or conjure men n Haunts –spirits of the dead (zombis)
Conjuration n Voodoo or hoodoo n Magic Shamanism –use of supernatural to harm or avoid harm to others –sickness was thought to the work of someone who was wanted to hurt another
Food for thought n Do you agree with the following quote? –Most of the slaves culture was neither “retained” from African nor “adopted” from the white slaveholders. Rather, it was created by the slaves form a convergence of various African cultural patterns, white cultural influence, and the necessities demanded by the new environment.